Gina Homolka’s Shrimp and Grits
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1¼ cups fat-free milk
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup quick-cooking grits (not instant)
½ Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 oz. Havarti cheese, shredded (1/3 cup)
1 Tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
24 (about 1 lb.) peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
1½ tsp. olive oil
2 oz. lean smoked ham steak, finely chopped
¼ cup minced shallots
½ cup caned fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained (I recommend Muir Glen)
2/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon wedge
3 Tbsp. sliced scallions, for garnish
• For the grits: In a medium pot, combine ¼ cup water, the chicken broth, milk and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Slowly stir in the grits. Return to a boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover with a fitted lid, and simmer, stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent the grits from sticking to the bottom, adding more water if necessary, until smooth like cream of wheat, 28 to 30 minutes. Stir in the butter and cheeses, remove the pan from the heat, and keep warm.
• For the shrimp: Sprinkle the shrimp with Old Bay. Heat a large saute pan over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and the shrimp and cook until browned, about 1 minute. Flip the shrimp and cook 1 more minute or until opaque. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.
• Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining ½ teaspoon oil and the ham. Cook until slightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the drained tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaf, and black pepper to taste. Increase the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens and reduces slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the shrimp and parsley, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir well and discard the bay leaf.
• Divide the grits among 4 serving plates and spoon the shrimp and sauce over the top of each. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.